This past weekend, I had the privilege of joining with some good friends to celebrate one of our impending nuptials. My friend Chris was gracious enough to invite me for what is traditionally supposed to be his last hurrah as a restricted free agent. The celebration where his fiancee matches terms and locks him down on a lifetime contract will be another bash of titanically alcoholic proportions, but that’s a story for another time.
I won’t go into many specifics or details about the goings-on of the trip, lest I violate several statutes of the bro code and the unofficial corollary to the Vegas rule (what happens in Cabo should stay in Cabo).
But I figured I’d share a few things about my short jaunt to paradise.
1. Party With The Locals
While Mexico is clearly its own country with markedly different customs and culture from America (exception: South San Jose and/or East LA), Los Cabos can feel like a quasi-extension of America and American culture, specifically for its reputation as a vacation resort and Spring Break destination. I feel like the entire town runs on tourism money, which makes the entire town cater to the foreigners instead of operating as a wholly independent and indigenous place. Visiting Los Cabos feels closer to weekending in San Diego than Mexico City.
I’m not saying that it’s like going to America Jr. for a vacation, but it’s a lot easier to get tunnel vision and party the American way in a town that encourages you to do so.
But the places and events I enjoyed the most involved the locals. There were a few fun episodes where we intermingled with fellow Statesiders, everything else was at the hands of natives with limited English skills and worse English jokes*.
*My favorites were “Watch out for Ricardo. He gay. HAHAHAHA.” and “50 dolars for taxi.”
You can always go to the hot spots where you can find familiar travelers getting down to a top 40 playlist from a year ago. You’ll have fun at those places. You might even find a fellow traveler who’s #downforwhatever and make messy memories together.
Or you can befriend some locals. A dude who thinks it’s ok to twirl other dudes on the dance floor*. A group of dancers who actually battle other passersby like they just saw You Got Served. A boat captain with a gold tooth and a penchant for luring sea lions. A majordomo who’s the smiling MVP of any party lucky to stay at the villa she works.
*I might be mediocre at basketball, but at least I got a legit spin move to slide the fuck out of that awkward sitch.
It’s a little more fun, and maybe a little more dangerous, to do as the locals do.
2. Play Your Position
Every individual on a large trip has a specified role to play. Of course, there was the “The Bachelor” AKA “The Liquor Receptacle.” Then there was “Expired Passport Guy,” “The Cleanup Hitter,” “The Only Kinda White Guy,” etc. I was “The Blitz.”
Seriously, I felt like I was in an episode of a terribly-written sitcom about five friends living in New York. Every time I would go to sleep or go off on my own to take a ddong, the rest of the group would experience something amazing.
For example, while I learned that I can indeed get motion sickness (fuck you, age) and went to go sleep it off, a sea lion just happened to jump onto the boat. It was close enough to touch and make arfy sea lion noises, to the delight of everyone else on board. Meanwhile, I was laying on a shitty boat bed with bubble guts barely being suppressed by unconsciousness.
Another time, I go to take a dump on a relatively uneventful booze cruise. After relieving myself of 2 days worth of tacos, I step out to find everyone with jaws agape and eyes lit with natural wonder. I ask “the hell are you guys looking at?” One friend turns around and says, “DUDE? YOU DIDN’T SEE THE WHALE?”
“What whale?” I ask.
“There was a fucking whale! It came so close to the boat!”
“Dude. Doh missed the fucking whale.”
“HE MISSED IT?! AGAIN?! THAT’S CLASSIC!”
I thought that I held latent reality-bending powers. Anytime I went to sleep, my dreams would manifest themselves into our world and epic scenes and memories would be shared amongst my friends. Then I realized that most of my dreams are made up of either beautiful women or sports highlights.
Maybe if I slept one more time, the rest of the bachelor party would’ve hung out with Rihanna and LeBron at the villa. Then when I wake up and go to join, LeBron would dunk on me from a basketball hoop that would magically appear from thin air, laugh at me while I’m crumpled on the floor, and then walk away with two hoes on both arms. At first, I would’ve thought that would’ve been horseshit. But now, I know I would’ve done it, because I now understand.
Gotta play your position. Because playing your position pushes your team to success.
3. Get a Majordomo
Words can’t express how clutch our majordomo Karime was on our trip. Just trust me on this one. Unless you’re all about that booze cruise life and you need to share a resort with other drunk Americans, splurge a little more and rent out a villa for your party. Find one with a majordomo. I guarantee that it’s worth the investment.
The food alone makes any thought of reserving at Wyndham Resorts a basic bitch move.
4. Mexico is Where Brackets Go to Die
This one is self explanatory. Every single man who filled out a bracket in that villa got busted within the first two days. One guy got wrecked while waiting for the plane to Cabo.
I’m never coming back to Mexico during March Madness.
Fuck you Virginia.
5. Don’t Eat Tacos 4 Days In a Row AKA Adulthood is Natural
It’s a common sight on reddit to glorify shitty eating habits, like eating fried chicken a week in a row because I’m an adult technically but not really because I’m eating fried chicken all fucking week don’t judge me bro.
Not to say that there aren’t people my age or older that can stomach a whole week of fried chicken. I mean, how else would you explain the scooter-level obesity in your average Alabama Walmart?
There might’ve been a time when I would’ve jumped at the chance to eat tacos for four straight days. Especially native Mexican tacos.
But I realized that maturity and adulthood isn’t a conscious decision to abandon all childlike things, it’s a naturally built understanding of consequence.
When you’re a kid, you can’t wrap your head around the consequences of eating tacos for four days straight. And why should you? You have a robust digestive system that could get nutrients out of mud.
But now? I scarf down a taco-based diet for 4 days, I end up trying to break the siege in my colon as soon as I get back into my apartment. That’s consequence. I’m not even out of my 20s and my body is telling me to grow the fuck up.
So when I say something so buzzkill and boring like “don’t eat tacos for 4 days in a row,” I’m honestly trying not to reach back in time and slap the Chalupa out of 15-year old Daniel’s hands. I’m simply processing the consequence that comes with such an action.
All part of being a grown-up, I suppose.
6. Treasure The Moment Before You Ca….Aaaand It’s Gone
It’s an obvious lesson, but I’m never able to internalize it.
The first day is underlined by the wonder and record-breaking relief I feel as soon as I crack open a beer and lay down my bags. The potential of four days…FOUR DAYS…of uninterrupted freedom and fun is so large and so fortuitous, I could barely wrap my head around it.
Then, at the snap of a finger, it’s already a week since my flight into Cabo and I’m sitting in my apartment trying to sift through work emails. Somehow in between then and now, I was able to squeeze in four amazing days with equally fantastic people in a destination that’s aptly named paradise. It’s almost unfair how quickly it all went.
I believe the groom said it best when he said that while the events of fishing, clubbing, and snorkeling were amazing, it’s really the small moments that are easiest to hold onto. Like the time when Clarence was so…well, I can’t get into too many specifics.
It doesn’t happen every day, and I’m glad I was able to experience it all, even the epic moments I never got to experience at all.